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January 17, 2002
a year ago
three years ago

Hamster Ball and Swanky Frank Jr.'s

7:50 pm: A really interesting day, today. Jet was up a few times last night, and John took care of him for a lot of it, so I took Jet when he woke up at 6, and we played out in the livingroom for a good long while. I wanted to make donuts, but I couldn't find the recipe. It's on a piece of cardboard, and John almost recycled it, once.

Instead, I fed Jet solids. It was fun. He had fun eating rice cereal and apple sauce amid bits of Ritz cracker. He chowed down on nearly six ounces of food. John woke up a bit after eight and managed to have breakfast before the two of the had to leave for Joan's. I then got two hours that included an hour's worth of meeting and an hour's worth of brain running around in a gerbil ball.

It kind of felt like that. My brain was just zooming around in all directions, stuck behind a clear wall that kept everything my brain was chasing just out of reach of it. It was pretty frustrating.

I finally just went and got Jet at the time it was to get him. Joan said that he'd been playing just fine and had crawled over to her, and crawled halfway over laid himself, belly down, on her leg. She thought he was watching the movie on the TV. Jet had fallen asleep. I guess waking up at 6 had gotten him more tired sooner. He slept forty minutes there, and when I got him home, he was awake and alert and cheerful.

I nursed him and he fell asleep at the end of that. I got to make my lunch before he woke up. I just made ramen. Jet got to eat some of the noodles. He really liked them and liked breaking the long noodles into shorter ones. He also got bits of chicken as well and was really happy with that. After I ate, we went upstairs for half an hour and I got to work for the half and hour and managed to get some small things done. My brain was hurting enough that I printed a bunch of things out and tried to make notes about the differences on the paper while on the floor with all the sheets. Jet, of course, was on the floor, too. He kept trying to steal my pen, and I ended up with four pens because he could hold one in each hand and one in his mouth, but he couldn't get the fourth one as well. So we kept juggling pens, with me popping the lid back on every time Jet reached for the one I was using. Jet was so tired, he'd get frustrated just holding them and he'd cry a little while before wanting to play some more.

At the two hour mark from when Jet ate, we went back downstairs and he wolfed down another six ounces of food, a whole jar of carrots and beef and some more of the applesauce. We went back upstairs just as the phone rang. It was my meeting. We were just in time. That was good, and I didn't have that much to contribute to the meeting or needed from the meeting. Half the way through Jet came to me, just grumpy, and I fed him and he fell asleep with all the voices arguing about directory structures. Sometimes I wonder what he dreams of when he sleeps so deeply at meetings. Hmm... then again, there have been meetings where I wish I could go to sleep, too.

He then slept for an hour, woke up long enough for me to change him and while I was holding him afterwards, he back to sleep. So I put him back to bed and he slept another hour. John came home, rode the exercise cycle, and I got to nurse Jet before John was done. John took Jet while he showered, and I got a bit more time in and finally got where I needed to go with it. When I came down we headed out to Swanky Frank's.

It was *cold* out tonight. It was 17 at 6 pm, and just getting colder. We put a coat, mittens, and socks on Jet and then also tucked a blanket around him. We each had our down coats, and I put on my winter boots as well. John, as usual, was in shorts and his sandals.

Swanky Frank JR's was totally packed. We settled for a booth that was at the front of the place, and there was a draft each time the door opened, but it was, otherwise, very comfortable. The waitress got our order pretty quickly, and our drinks came fast, but the food took a while. They had a whole lot of take-out orders as well as orders from all the people in the diner itself. By the time we got our food they were saying it was an hour's wait before anyone could get food if they ordered right then.

The cook even had to 'borrow' a case of lettuce from the Casa de Mina. They'd run completely out of French fries and onion rings, and were offering deals on al the meals that included them. They'd run out of vegetables for the dinners, lettuce for the salads, and even the steak for the chicken fried steak. They were getting deliveries every day and still hadn't been able to estimate how much food they needed for any particular day. I got their basic chili dog with cheese, and asked for the cole slaw. They had all that.

I think they've only been open for a couple of weeks, but the down-home, inexpensive food really fit the Erie old town residents' taste. Hopefully they'll figure out what they need soon enough. There were also two teen-age girls as customers who wanted to become waitresses there. They were hiring and Frank talked with them about what they needed. Turns out that to be a waitress with them they had to bring enough change for a day. What happens is that they do all the banking for their customers. There is no cash register in the restaurant. At the end of the day they pay the restaurant for all the food that their customers ate, and everything that's over that they get to keep. So there's real incentive to serve the customers well.

That's a pretty cool system.

The food was good. The dogs snapped when I bit them, the natural casing and enough filling to make them snap when the skin was broken. The chile was deep red and savory, and the cheese just starting to melt. John's chicken fried chicken was crisp and tender with a really nice sausage gravy smothering it and the mashed potatoes. There was a very sad looking slice of tomato for John's 'vegetable', but they also gave John some cole slaw for the salad that didn't exist. So the food was good.

Home again home again, and we're just puttering about the livingroom, watching Jet play. Jet, after he got to eat some solids, was sat down on the floor, and he reached down with both hands, got a sock in each hand and pulled both of them off and waved them about in the air. He was really happy at being able to pull them both off at once. He's actually had a pretty good day, all in all, and the late, long nap has made him pretty happy.

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Copyright 2002 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.